Greek shares plummet as the Athens Stock Exchange reopens

Jessica Morris
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The country's banks suffered the biggest losses (Source: Getty)

Greece's main stock index continued to haemorrhage today after the cash-strapped country's markets were opened for the first time in five weeks.

By this afternoon the Athens Stock Exchange had recovered slightly from the earlier sell-off and was down 16.3 per cent at 667.46 points. It posted its worst ever one-day performance after only a few minutes of trading this morning, plummeting 22.86 per cent.

Banks bore the brunt of this following reports that the Greek government sought €10bn (£7bn) for an initial recapitalisation of Greek banks as part of a first tranche of bailout aid from creditors. This would be bad news for their shareholders because it reduces the value of existing shares.

Of the Greek lenders shares in both Piraeus Bank and Eurobank were down 30 per cent this afternoon, while Alpha Bank shed around 24 per cent.

Read more: Greek shares anticipated to plunge as much as 20 per cent when stock exchange reopens

"Most of the selling pressure is seen in bank shares, where there is about €100m worth of unexecuted selling orders," said investment adviser Theodore Mouratidis.

"There may be some more slide in store for (Tuesday) unless buyers emerge later in the session."

European shares stayed resolute in the face of the Greek stock market turmoil, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.84 per cent to 399.68 points in mid-morning trade.

Market pundits had been expecting today's sell-off, with many saying they thought all equities would dip into negative territory.

The exchanges had been shut down on 26 June, ahead of the government’s imposed capital controls to stop the possibility of capital flight from the country. Greek banks had also been closed for three weeks, however they reopened on 20 July.

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